On Monday, May 30, Bay Ridge was once again the home to the nation’s oldest continuously-run Memorial Day Parade.
Brooklyn’s 155th annual Memorial Day Parade started at 11 a.m. at Third Avenue and 78th Street and proceeded down Third Avenue to Marine Avenue, over to Fourth Avenue and down to John Paul Jones Park for a memorial service.
The day included bagpipes, flag-raising, wreath-laying by veterans’ service organizations, a 21-gun salute by the Veteran Corps of Artillery, and the playing of Taps.
The parade’s grand marshal was James Hendon, commissioner of the NYC Department of Veteran Services. The deputy grand marshal was Donald LaSala, commander of the Catholic War Veterans OLPH Post. First responders and essential workers were honorary marshals.
“Great job by Third Avenue’s own Chip Cafiero in his capacity as parade formation coordinator to ensure that today’s Annual Brooklyn’s Memorial Day Parade stepped off smoothly,” wrote the Merchants of Third Avenue in a Facebook post. “Third Avenue was transformed into a sea of red, white and blue as hundreds of marchers and spectators lining the avenue paid tribute to America’s veterans and active members of the Armed Forces on Memorial Day.”
According to the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade’s website, the purpose of the tradition is to educate a diverse audience that includes Veteran groups, civic organizations, business leaders, educational institutions, youth groups and the general public on the importance of Memorial Day.
Elected officials also took part in the ceremony.
“A great day honoring our fallen this #MemorialDay at parades and ceremonies on #StatenIsland and #Brooklyn,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Brooklyn-Staten Island). “Thank you for coming out to pay tribute to the brave and selfless Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and our nation.”
“It was an honor to join our community today in celebrating & remembering the incredible sacrifice our service members have made so that the promise of our nation could live on,” said State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Southern Brooklyn). “To all those who have served, thank you. We owe you a debt we can never repay.”
During the last two years, a smaller-scale Memorial Day Parade/Motorcade was held in Bay Ridge due to COVID-19, along with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Brooklyn Veterans Administration Medical Center.